After passing by Arequipa for just a few minutes, probably less than one hour. We decided to return and give a second change to this city, and what a great decision that was! It was another long trip, but Arequipa welcomed us the best way we could wish for!
Back to Arequipa from Mollendo
The 13th day, we were in Mollendo and it was time to get back to Arequipa, from there we would fly back to Lima which meant that our vacations were close to an end.
We couldn’t sleep more than 8 am, so we just went for a breakfast, an ice cream after it and a last walk through the town. Time to take the bus, so we went by taxi to the bus terminal and preparing for a few more hours in a bus… This time, I made sure I went to the toilet before…
The bus was really old, quite like expected, and the trip took about 3:3o hours to Arequipa, with several stops in each of them people tried to sell us stuff. Seriously, some of those stops were in the middle of nowhere, and people there waiting to sell stuff? Some of those people even got inside the bus, to sell, and were with us until a few stops later they just hopped of.
I think at that point of tiredness, I was already too “annoyed” with everything, according to my notes an “asshole” (quoting myself) as all the time changing the roof door to get air, either closing it or opening it. It was a sauna inside the bus…
Arriving in Arequipa, we just took a taxi to the hostel we were thinking to stay. I believe we made a booking before, I am not sure now about that detail. Crossing the city was a huge surprise! What at first sight seemed to be another very ugly city, like almost all the other cities we passed through before, the city center is really beautiful! And the hostel, was another pleasant surprise, a mini-hotel with just a few rooms (I am not 100% sure, but I think it was the Casa Andina) very cosy, nice and very close to the city center!
We were starving, after that long trip, and so we went for a walk trying to find any restaurant, so, instead of keeping with the traditional Peruvian food, we tried an arabic restaurant that totally is worth all the money we spent there! I don’t remember if it was expensive or not, but I didn’t care, it was really good! After that, we did a small tour through the city center, just to get familiar with the place.
At night, time for dinner! And again, not Peruvian food…, we went to a creperie, and again, the money was well spent! And before going back to bed, I bought two books for the rest of the trip, I kind of “devoured” the book I had with me in just a few days…, one of the books I bought was the Kon-Tiki, which took me back to our adventure in Oslo a few months before. I really should write a full post about Kon-Tiki, a story that really impressed me! And time to sleep!
Falling in love with Arequipa
Waking up early in Arequipa…, it is strange to write this about every day of my vacations, which kind of vacations do you wake up early every day? Oh, jet lag…, right… Well, we went back to the creperie for a breakfast, and after that a “girly moment” of shopping! Souvenirs and etc!
We tried to go to a museum, but if I am not mistaken, we had to wait for the next tour, so we decided to skip it and we went to a Monastery, the Santa Catalina Monastery, such a beautiful place! A pure village in the city center, but a cloister… Nowadays it is mostly a touristic place with just a few nuns living there, but its history is quite interesting and worth reading a bit more about it, but not as much as to visit the place!
Lunch, was again at the arabic restaurant! Two days in a row eating at the same places, and both days with non-Peruvian food…, but it was really good! We went then for a walk throughout the city center, with a nice ice cream to cool that heat down! And more “girly moments“, we found a very nice market with several hand-made stuff, quite cheap comparing with european prices!
Our time in Arequipa was almost done, time to catch a taxi and going to the airport, and when we thought that the adventure was almost ending…, things also can happen at the airports. Starting with a manual search through out luggage, and when I say “manual” I actually really mean that they opened our bags and start digging through our dirty underwear for a few seconds until they gave up. Then, we found out that we had to pay an airport tax that was not included in the ticket price. WHAT THE HECK??? Almost 10 Peruvian New Soles! And then, we had to wait until they decided to open the gates…
When they announced the gates, we could proceed to the x-ray area, and then, more fun happened! Ramón indeed over-packed, and he had a huge bag just for souvenirs and one of those was detected by the x-ray! He literally had to unpack it just because of a piece of dust-gatherer! Oh, that was a funny moment that I have on video! We just had to wait more for the departure…
Arriving in Lima, and going to the hostel. I totally forgot how much they robbed us the last time with the “scheduled” taxi, and again, the same mistake! 30 soles… And, if I wasn’t enough pissed of with that “deal“, they forced us to pay in advance, the only hotel in our whole trip that required a pay in advance. Oh, I was really pissed of! And then, a very bad sleep night, hot, bad bed, and etc….
Where is Arequipa?
Arequipa is the second biggest city in Peru, and it is the south of the country in the Andean Mountains at an altitude of 2335 m.
Suggestions of accommodation